In-Person Absentee Voting Open

In-person absentee voting is now open at City Hall for the August 12 partisan primary election.

You can vote in person at the clerk’s office during normal business hours through 5 p.m. on Friday, August 8.

Check out a sample ballot here. Here is a link to the city’s general election information page.

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Filed under 2014 Elections, Politics, South Milwaukee

Development Update: Burger King Planned Near Walmart

Update: We scheduled a public hearing on the proposed Burger King for the August 25 Plan Commission meeting, when the 16th Avenue project will also get more discussion. The commission recommended approval of the Columbia Avenue project, with conditions. 

Monday’s (tonight’s) Plan Commission agenda includes several new development projects worth noting …

  • Plans have been submitted for a new Burger King restaurant as an outlot to Walmart at 222 N. Chicago Ave. Discussion about the project’s conditional use permit — and the potential to set a public hearing on the project — is on tonight’s agenda.
  • The Plan Commission is also discussing plans for a new “twin duplex” apartment complex on currently vacant land at the corner of 16th and College Avenues. The plans are for a mix of two- and three-bedroom units.
  • Also, South Milwaukee’s EK Construction wants to purchase and improve the property on the northeast corner of 11th and Columbia Avenues. The plan is to create a storage yard for snowplows and other outdoor equipment and expand/improve the existing building on the site, with a screen fence and improved landscaping around the property. If you’ve driven by there recently, you’d see how much of a facelift that corner could use. And it’s good to a see a local business like EK Construction interested in expanding.

I’ll keep you posted on these developments, and please do attend our meetings. Public hearings on the apartment complex and Columbia Avenue project are set for Monday night. The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m.

Here is an agenda, which also includes continued discussion of the downtown plan I promised during the campaign — one I think we still need as badly as ever.

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Filed under Development, South Milwaukee

Honoring Our World War I Veterans

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has a terrific story in Sunday’s edition about the efforts of two local American Legion Posts to keep the memories of World War I veterans alive.

One of them is right here in South Milwaukee: Van Eimeren-Kolonka Post 27.

From the story:

Cudworth Post 23 was housed in a mansion on Milwaukee’s east side for many years. When it burned down, the post built another in the same block of Prospect Ave., but it was sold two decades ago. Now the post’s offices are above a restaurant in Glendale. Members meet each week for breakfast.

While the Van Eimeren post — it still is in the same building across from the Caterpillar factory in South Milwaukee — was and is known as a blue-collar, working-class post, Cudworth’s membership drew from the ranks of lawyers, doctors, businessmen and judges who had served in the military.

Cudworth boasts some famous members — Gen. Douglas MacArthur, Billy Mitchell and Ken Keltner, the Cleveland Indians third baseman credited with making two impressive defensive plays that helped snap Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak.

Cudworth post members helped start Badger Boys State, Camp Legion in northern Wisconsin and American Legion baseball leagues in Wisconsin. Like all American Legion posts across the U.S., both the Van Eimeren-Kolonka and Cudworth posts continue to work on behalf of veterans by furnishing honor guards for funerals, organizing educational programs for youths and lobbying for veterans issues.

Membership in both posts is dwindling as World War II, Korea and Vietnam veterans die and younger veterans don’t join, a problem for all veterans organizations.

At its peak in the 1980s, the Cudworth post had more than 5,000 members. Now it’s around 400. Van Eimeren-Kolonka’s membership is 235, half the size during the 1950s.

“Every generation of veterans thinks their war is unique and their problems are unique, which is true, but what you have to go through is pretty much the same,” Ludka said. “Veterans organizations are places where you can meet people who have had the same experiences.”

Thank you to our local veterans for this important work … and for their service.

The post is located at 920 Monroe Ave. and has a website and Facebook page.

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Filed under Community, South Milwaukee

Beach Warning: Grant Park

I don’t remember seeing these types of warnings issued before from the National Weather Service, but here is the second one in less than two weeks: a “lakeshore hazard message” for beaches along Lake Michigan, with particular concern paid to currents at Grant Park, among others.

Check out the full message here.

The statement is in effect through Monday evening. Stay safe!

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Filed under South Milwaukee, Weather

South Milwaukee Heritage Days: A Shoutout To Our Volunteers

So, Heritage Days 2014 are over. What a week!

The DARE Golf Outing. St. Luke’s Ice Cream Social. Firehouse Spaghetti Dinner. Evening on the Avenue. Heritage Days Parade. Great Duck Race. South Milwaukee Lionsfest.

I had the pleasure of attending all of these, and each was special, true celebrations of our great city.

But let’s keep in mind that none of this would be possible without the hard work and dedication of dozens (hundreds?) of volunteers. I know time is tight and demands are high, but South Milwaukeeans always seem to come through, and not just during Heritage Week.

To all of our volunteers, I say, “thank you.” Your efforts are always appreciated.

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Filed under Community, South Milwaukee

Festivals, Parades & More

10494689_893149484050081_1311115531586278510_nNight one of South Milwaukee Lionsfest is in the books … but there’s a lot more on the agenda this weekend.

Saturday features the annual Heritage Days Parade starting at 11 a.m. It starts around 8th and Milwaukee, heads west to 16th, then north to Lionsfest. Look for me and the family on the firetruck!

Then it’s the Friends of the Mill Pond and Oak Creek Watercourse Great Duck Race at 2 p.m. near 15th and Milwaukee Avenues … and the last night of Drama at the Depot, starting at 7:30 p.m. at the South Milwaukee train station.

Lionsfest continues Saturday afternoon and on Sunday, with Family Day. Check out the full schedule above. I’ll be bartending Saturday night and serving food on Sunday.

In other words, it’s a full weekend. Hope to see you out and about!

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Filed under South Milwaukee

Profit Up, Sales Down For Cat

Caterpillar is out with its second-quarter earnings report, and results were mixed — but still concerning around the company’s mining prospects.

Check out coverage from the Wall Street Journal, Forbes and Bloomberg.

From Bloomberg …

Mining companies have cut billions of dollars of capital spending amid surplus commodities production and a drop in prices for coal, iron ore and other metals. Caterpillar, which completed a string of mining-related acquisitions when the market was stronger, said today the industry remains “weak” and order levels are still low.

“We are seeing our customers defer maintenance,” Chief Executive Officer Doug Oberhelman said on a conference call discussing a decline in mining equipment sales. “The bottom is just behind us. Our numbers are minuscule in terms of ticking up, but they are ticking up.”

Caterpillar’s sales of mining machinery through dealers dropped 38 percent in the second quarter, with declines in every region except North America.

The “mining slump is the No. 1 headwind for Caterpillar,” Matt Arnold, a St. Louis-based analyst with Edward Jones, said by phone. “It won’t last forever, but the question is, how well can the company harness improvement in its other segments in the meantime?”

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Filed under Caterpillar, South Milwaukee